Many older professionals face serious age discrimination at work

Years of experience on the job can turn the average professional into a niche expert. This, in turn, can make older employees of incredible value to their employers. Understanding how a system works, how a product works or how your employer processes orders can make performing a job simpler. It can even help you catch issues before they arise and allow you to make intelligent suggestions to improve performance and efficiency.

Sadly, far too many employers view older employees as a burden instead of an opportunity. Instead of looking at workers approaching retirement age as the experienced and knowledgeable professionals they are, employers may only see them as a risk factor for increased health insurance claims. Managers may view older workers as slower or less productive, even if there is no evidence of a discrepancy in performance based on age. That can result in age discrimination that hurts the careers of older Americans.

Older workers are protected under federal law

Age discrimination is not a new issue that resulted from the technological Renaissance of the last few decades. It has been an issue for as long as there have been workplace protections in the United States. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 made it illegal for employers to discriminate against workers who are over the age of 40. It is not illegal to favor an older worker over a younger one, but it is against the law to favor youth over experience without valid reason.

While advances in technology often seem to favor younger job seekers, who will have an easier time adapting to new ways of doing things, that doesn't mean that older workers can't learn and adapt as well. In fact, older professionals can combine new technological advances with their own experience to ensure better overall performance, provided that employers provide adequate training and support.

Older workers may face overt or discrete discrimination

Some companies will allow an openly hostile work environment to impact their older workers. This could include co-workers or managers making jokes at the expense of older workers or older adults in general. This could impact an older professional's ability to maintain a strong performance in one's position. It could also lead to other forms of discrimination, such as demotions, getting passed over for promotions, unfair wage practices or even termination.

Sometimes, a culture that discriminates against older workers is more subtle. They may simply not receive adequate opportunities for advancement or may not provide education to help older workers close the technological gap with younger workers. Whether you're facing a work day full of jokes about your age or appearance, or you just can't seem to get the support you need to thrive, you should carefully look at whether your employer is discriminating against you and other older workers.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
Free Consultation

Get Started With Your Free, No-Obligation Consultation

Let us be clear when we say "you pay us nothing unless we win." Your relationship with our law firm begins with a free consultation. You meet directly with one of our experienced lawyers. When you become our client, we never ask you to open your checkbook. We work on a contingency-fee basis, which means our fee only comes from the proceeds from a successful verdict or settlement.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
disclaimer.

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

close

Privacy Policy

McCune Zenner Happell, PLLC The Parklane Building, 5200 Maryland Way Suite 120 Brentwood, TN 37027 Phone: 615-953-8337 Phone: 615-425-3476 Fax: 615-251-6958 Brentwood Law Office Map

  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Best Lawyers Best Law Firms U S News
  • Nation's Premier NAFBA Top Ten Ranking 2014